A common question which is often asked while travelling is (1) Can I shorten the prayer while travelling, (2) if yes, how many rakats should I pray for Salah?

We have answered (1) in detail and you can see the discussion on Shortening and combining prayer while travelling.

The summary:

  • Yes it is both mentioned in the Quran and is the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, to offer the shortened prayer while travelling.
  • The conditions are you are travelling outside your city or beyond 88km and you plan your stay to be less than fifteen days (according to Hanafi Fiqh). If for unforeseen circumstance, you are compelled and stuck there you can continue offering the Qasr salat as long as your unable to return. This can be weeks, months or years.

With regard to the number of rakats offered for Salah we will answer it here.

It was narrated that ‘Umar said: “The prayer for jumu’ah is two rak’ahs, and for Al-Fitr is two rak’ahs, and for An-Nahr is two rak’ahs, and for traveling is two rak’ahs, complete and not shortened, on the tongue of the Prophet (ﷺ).” Grade: Sahih (Darussalam) Reference: Sunan an-Nasa’i 1440

It was narrated that ‘Umar said: “The prayer while traveling is two Rak’ah, and Friday is two Rak’ah, and ‘Eid is two Rak’ah. They are complete and are not shortened, as told by Muhammad (ﷺ).” Grade: Sahih (Darussalam) Sunan Ibn Majah

table for number of rakats for traveller

Number of Rakats While Travelling:

Fajr – 2 Fardh
Zuhr – 2 Fardh
Asr – 2 Fardh
Maghrib – 3 Fardh
Isha – 2 Fardh

With regards to the Sunnah and Nafl salat, the travellers had the choice as to whether or not this will be offered. It is advised once the traveller has settled that he should pray the Sunnah and Nafl prayers.

Some scholars are under the opinion that Fajr sunnah and Witr prayer should be prayed even during the stay or travel as it’s strongly emphasized. There is no shortening of the Nafl, Maghrib or Fajr Salat.

Inshallah this clears up any confusion you may have had. Please leave a comment below if this helped or if you believe we have made a mistake anywhere.